HINDMAN, Ky. — The historic 2022 floods in eastern Kentucky touched nearly every end of Knott county and beyond.
Businesses in and around downtown Hindman were submerged in record-high water. We introduced you to the Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company shortly after the flood. A year later, the second chance workshop is recovering like other businesses in the area.
One year ago, the morning before director Doug Naselroad could make it to the Troublesome Creek shop or the Appalachian School of Luthiery, flood waters blocked access to and through the main road in Hindman.
‘“It was five feet deep over here, and I had a Toyota over here,” Naselroad said as he recalled that tragic day.
He stays near the business and watched the flood water quickly consume the area within minutes. It covered cars and eventually the first floor of buildings right outside of his home.
They lost around $100,000 worth of instruments and heirlooms alone, not to mention property damage and excessive clean-up.
However, a week later, Naselroad and other volunteers began searching for the misplaced guitars and valuables to be salvaged, like the Hindman dulcimers: a collection that once stood in the community artisan museum.
“When we finally found it, it was filled with mud and swollen,” Naselroad said about one of the specialty pieces. “We thought that it wasn’t too bad, but when it dried out, it needed some repairs.”
Cleaning their workspaces and restoring instruments to their pre-disaster glory haven’t been their only challenges.
Troublesome Creek provides a special mission of serving people who are recovering from addiction.
Luthier Anthony Parsons says when such a loss happens, it can be a fight for folks who are working to overcome other struggles. He says it ultimately comes down to life-changing decisions.
“And if I don’t have a job or whatever, you start having one of those panics about what to do if this doesn’t work out anymore,” Parsons said. “But you have to be strong enough to say no matter what it will be alright.”
Life-altering for all of them, Naselroad says the crew of instrument mechanics has proved that regardless of the obstacle they help their peers and neighbors.
“I had no idea on earth of all the people that were gonna rise to the occasion and help us,” Naselroad said.
Now they are working toward making the business even more welcoming.